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Taiwan Church News

3304 edition

June 22 - 28, 2015

Church Ministry

 

Berliner Missionwerk Blocked To Visit Taiwan For PCT 150

 

Reported by Lin Jia-chin

 

In the afternoon 0n June 13, Rev. Yeh Chin-an, secretary of PCT's Ecumenical & International Committee, received the message that two chief officials of Berliner Missionwerk(BM), Rev. Dr. Roland Herpich and Rev. Dr. Christof Theilemann, were blocked to get on board at their booked flight en route to Taiwan's PCT 150.

 

When the protest of infringing EU citizens' rights was given by BM, the carrier, China Southern Airlines(CAS), could not afford any reasonable explanation. In addition, intending to avoid any implication that such no-boarding decision was directly ordered by China's envoy in Germany, CAS claimed it was done by itself from other information channels.

 

Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong, General Secretary of PCT, remarked that BM had established some missionary institutes in China's Kuangchow City since 19 century. This time, these historical missionary sites were also scheduled to be visited by Rev. Dr. Roland Herpich and Rev. Dr. Christof Theilemann. "Why they can not get on board?", questioned Rev. Lyim, "CAS should give a reasonable explanation on this event."

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Rev. Dr. Roland Herpich(left most) and Rev. Dr. Christof Theilemann(right most) had been visited HQ Office of PCT General Assembly in June 2013.

 

Photo by Lin Jia-chin

 
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Taiwan Church News

3304 Edition

June 22 - 28, 2015

Church Ministry

 

Writing Against Oppression Of Human Rights, Winners Of Free Tibet Literary Award Are Announced

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

On June 20, winners of the first Free Tibet Literary Award were announced at Deng Liberty Foundation(DLF) in Taipei. Mr. Lee Ming-yong, chairman of DLF, emphasized "Standing for truth, poets and writers are responsible to write against the oppression of human rights". He hoped the winners of this Free Tibet Literary Award would keep fighting for human rights in their future writing.

 

The writers competing this literary award were relatively young: the eldest winner was born in 1977, the youngest is even a college sophomore now, and 8 out of 13 winners of this award were still students. DLF remarked that it became obvious that the issues of Tibet freedom and universal human rights had accumulated more and more momentum and support from the youth of Taiwan.

 

Mr. Dawa Thering, chairman of Dalai Lama Tibet Religion Foundation, was invited to award the winners. He pointed out that a common worry among the democratic activists of Hong Kong and Taiwan is that Today's Hong Kong may possibly be tomorrow's Taiwan.

 

In the same vein, Tibet's story was a tragic precedent for Taiwan, Dawa Thering said. He believed though many Taiwanese understood how China treated Tibet in the last century, there were still a lot of people who knew nothing about this tragedy. And this Free Tibet Award meant to give Taiwanese a different perspective to Tibet and her culture, hence an alternative thinking to know this world. "Seeing your care about Tibet, we feel not lonely. And we are more confident about the future," said Thering.

 

Lee Ming-yong lamented that any Taiwan literary award dared not take up the issues of Taiwan's dire realities. He stressed the instinct of literature was to critique and fight against injustice, just like there were many Palestinian literature resisting the hegemony of the Israel. "Standing for truth, poets and writers should write against the oppression of human rights. And such literary writing is important", reiterated Lee.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe


 
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Taiwan Church News

3304 Edition

June 22 - 28, 2015

Church Ministry

 

A Bunun Aboriginal Baby Festival: Fusing Christian Faith And the Bunun Culture

 

Reported by Umav

 

On June 21, at Mahavun church of Central Bunun Presbytery, a thanksgiving service fusing the aboriginal Baby Festival was took place. Four babies, brought by their parents, were introduced to the assembly in the church. Their names in mother tongue were named and announced by the pastor; the head-covering (mat-haulus) meant blessing was tied for each child; a baby baptism was held afterwards.

 

During the baptism service, the parents of these 4 babies pledged to raise the child under a Christian faith. In return, to encourage the parents to cultivate the children compliant to the words of God, a Bunun Bible with the baby's foot profile imprinted on the Bible's front page was sent by the church to the parents each. This is the renown Bunun aboriginal Baby Festival, fusing the Christian faith with Bunun aboriginal culture.

 

Rev. Ispalakan Banitul, pastor of Mahavun church, expressed that such aboriginal Baby Festival was not only functioned as a symbol of ethnic ethics but also as a witness to God's love in aboriginal culture. "Baby Festival had evolved into different kinds of outlooks within the tribes of the Bunun aboriginal for years", Rev. Banitul remarked, "but Central Bunun Presbytery decided to connect it with a thanksgiving service and baptism held from June to August as our cultural characteristics!"

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Rev. Ispalakan Banitul greet each toddler with a head-covering (mat-haulus), which meant blessing, during a thanksgiving service fusing the Bunun aboriginal Baby Festival at Mahavun Church on June 21, 2015.

Photo by Umav

 
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Taiwan Church News

3304 Edition

June 22 - 28, 2015

Church Ministry

 

China State Enterprise To Hold Shares Of Taiwan's Biggest Financial Holding

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

In the afternoon on June 21, Economic Democracy Union(EDU) held a press conference warning the impact of the impending China state enterprise's equity participation into Taiwan's biggest financial holding company. This accusation referred to the coming deal of China CITIC Bank to bid 3.8% of total shares of Taiwan's CTBC Financial Holding.

 

Mr. Lai Chong-chian, Chairman of EDU, pointed out that China CITIC Bank was actually a state enterprise under China's State Department. Founded in 1979, under the approval of Deng Xiao-ping, this state-run bank's founder(Rong Yi-ren) and current managing director(Chang Zhen-ming) were all communist bureaucrats assigned. "This is a 100% state-run strategic enterprise, with a real role-play deeply rooted within Chinese power machines like national security, intelligence and military forces", said Lai.

 

What kind of social and political impact to bear on Taiwan society, once China CITIC Bank is allowed to hold shares of CTBC Financial Holding? Lai warned that there were three folds crisis implicit in this private deal of increasing cash capital: freedom of speech, security of personal data, and political censorship.

 

As CTBC Financial Holding has an annual marketing budget about NT$ 2.8 billions in Taiwan's media promotion, the freedom of speech and media independence would be greatly endangered or even manipulated once China CITIC Bank is allowed an equity participation into CTBC Financial Holding, said Lai.

 

It is beyond doubt that the data security of citizens and enterprises in Taiwan would be exposed to an unpredictable risk, as the number of credit card issuance by CTBC Financial Holding is the biggest among her peer. Lai expressed, once this deal is done, China CITIC Bank could easily get access to Taiwan's Joint Credit Information Center without any external check. And this is a issue of national security.

 

As to the political censorship through the withdrawal of advertisement, there had been already an ugly precedent by China CITIC Bank during Hong Kong's Umbrella revolution last year. It certainly made Taiwan society wary that whether China CITIC Bank would get involved into any loan censorship in order to comply with China's interests, said Lai.

 

To fight against China's invasion into Taiwan's financial market, Lai urged shareholders of CTBC Financial Holding, Taiwan society and Financial Supervisory Commission to oppose this deal. Otherwise, if the Trojan horse - China CITIC Bank - could not be stopped to enter into town, EDU would launch a grand-scale consumer boycott movement against CTBC Financial Holding!

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 
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Taiwan Church News

3304 Edition

June 22 - 28, 2015

Headline News

 

Thanksgiving Services Held For PCT 150 Across Taiwan

 

Reported by Hwang Yi-lek, Lin Yi-ying and Chen Yi-hsuan

 

In the morning on June 21, three thanksgiving services for the 150th anniversary of PCT's mission in Taiwan were separately held in Kaohsiung, Hwa-lien and Tai-tung. At this historical moment of PCT 150, the audience assembled at each site, about 15,000 in Kaohsiung, 6,000 in Hua-lien and 5,500 in Tai-tung, were to commemorate the evangelical spirits of the former missionaries and pledge to carry on their Missio Dei!

 

The thanksgiving service of PCT 150 held at Kaohsiung was organized by five united southern PCT presbyteries - Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung, So-shan and Pin-tung. Rev. Cheng Wen-ren, Moderator of PCT General Assembly, officiated the thanksgiving service; Rev. Shih Lien-chen, Chairman of the United Southern PCT Presbyteries, delivered his sermon entitled as "Walk Out Of History, Step Into Time" encouraging PCT members to inherit the past glorious history in missionary service, engage with today's challenges fearlessly and become the evangelical model for next generations of Taiwan church.

 

Liturgy of this thanksgiveing service was designed by Rev. Hu Chong-ming, pastor of Der-seng Presbyterian church. Three responsive readings of scripture were used to manifest the themes of PCT 150 - commemoration, calling and responsibility. The hymnal "O come, let us sing", honored as PCT' "national anthem", was also used to lead the audience to sing their heartfelt thanksgiving toward God's love, favor and leading Taiwan into future.

 

Many special guests from domestic and overseas churches, including local politicians and city magistrates, were invited to attend this special assembly of PCT 150. They included, Rev. John C. Christie, former Moderator of the Church of Scotland; representatives from Colonge Presbytery of Evangelishe Kirche in Deutschland(EKD), Hyogo Parish of The United Church of Christ in Japan(UCCJ); Archbishop Liu Cheng-chung; Mr Benjamin Nan, executive of World Vision Taiwan; Dr. Tsai Ing-wen, chairwoman of Democratic Progressive Party(DPP); Ms Kiku Chen, Mayor of Kaohsiung City; Mr. Pan Men-an, Magistrate of Pin-tung county and many other local politicians and city council representatives.

 

Rev. John C. Christie remarked that the wonderful services offered to Christ by the former missionaries in the past 150 years were just like "a great cloud of witnesses": they were missionary paradigms inspiring us to march forward; Archbishop Liu Cheng-chung encouraged the audience to keep vigilant, reflective and faithful to act at this special moment of PCT 150; DPP chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen, adduced Rev. Thomas Barclay's famous dedication prayers, pledged to make Taiwan a country filled with justice, love, honesty and love.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe


 

Scene of Kaohsiung site

Photo by Hwang Yi-lek

 

Scene of Hwa-lien site

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

 

Scene of Tai-tung site

Photo by Chen Yi-hsuan

 

Scene of Tai-tung site

Photo by Chen Yi-hsuan

 

Scene of Tai-tung site

Photo by Chen Yi-hsuan

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3303 Edition

June 15 - 21, 2015

Church Ministry

 

I Believe What I Sing - A Seminar On PCT New Hymnal

 

Reported by Lee Hsin-ren

 

From June 15 to 16, organized by Rev. Shoki Coe's Memorial Theological Lecture, a seminar entitled " I Believe What I Sing - A Theological Reflection On PCT New Hymnal" was held in Tainan Theological College and Seminary(TTCS).

 

"The contextual PCT New Hymnal is an extraordinary treasure belonging to Taiwan and ecumenical churches, as there are immeasurable resources in it!", emphasized Rev. Loh I-to, who was an editor and one of the original composers of many Taiwan hymnals in this PCT New Hymnal. Taiwan church is expected to sing, understand and appreciate this newly edited hymnal book, for these hymnals were our best ways to express, confess and witness our faith, said Rev. Loh.

 

Rev. Wong Chong-gyiau, President of TTCS, remarked that Taiwan church had been praised as a "singing church" in the past decades, yet her vitality seemed in the wane after the recent wave of "worship and praise" from other denominations. Through this PCT New Hymnal, we should think again our faith tradition, Taiwan history and the relationship between God and our future.

 

Rev. Loh pointed out that the editorial basis of PCT New Hymnal was the Confession of PCT(1985). Through the hymnals collected from different times, areas and ethnics, God's love is tried to be expressed in these ecumenical and diverse sounds and voices. PCT New Hymnal also tried to interpret and reflect different dimensions of our faith, including human rights, economics, technology, gender justice, environmental concerns and ecological deterioration, said Rev. Loh.

 

To let the audience to appreciate the ecumenical diversity of PCT New Hymnal, a TTCS student choir performed those hymnals collected from areas of Taiwan, Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Israel, Russia and Latin America; Rev. Chen Chhong-fat shared how the Hakka hymnals was translated and composed; Rev. Hayu Yudau interpreted the hymnals in the aboriginal musical instruments: xylophone, uklele and Jew's harp.

 

PCT New Hymnal collected 650 hymnals from 74 countries among 5 continents and 2 oceans. Traditional hymnals inherited from Europe and Northern America accounts for 1/2 of the PCT New Hymnal, the third world hymnals and Taiwan hymnals accounts for 1/4 respectively. It means there is still a very large space for the third world and Taiwan hymnals to grow.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Interpreting the past history and future development of Taiwan psalmody, Rev. Loh I-to lead the student choir and the audience to sing and appreciate the ecumenical diversity of PCT New Hymnal in a seminar at TTCS on June 15 to 16, 2015.

Photo by Lee Hsin-ren

 
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